Ginseng farmer hurt by trade war -- Kim Tschudy

July 29, 2018

Wisconsin ginseng farmers already are getting hurt by the new tariffs President Donald Trump is imposing, according to a July 9 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

A 15 percent retaliatory tariff imposed by China has already had its effect on these farmers. One Marathon County ginseng farmer was quoted, “Tariffs don’t do anybody any good. We had one brand new customer lined up and (a) signed contract and everything, and they walked away from it the day that 15 percent tariff went on.”

According to the same article, in 2017, Wisconsin exported $14 million of ginseng to China. That’s more than $7 million more than the second largest exporter, New York state. That represented a 16 percent increase for the state from 2016 to 2017.

Looking at the 2016 presidential election votes in Marathon County, they voted 56.7 percent for Trump and 38.5 percent for Hillary Clinton. These statistics bring back a line from a Rolling Stones song, “You can’t always get what you want!” And sometimes when you do, it isn’t good for you.

While this is tragic for the farmers, perhaps it’s time they asked themselves, is this making America great again?

Kim Tschudy, New Glarus

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